And here’s my monthly series of articles discussing the intersection of race and pop culture.
First up, an essay about Westworld from the point of view of a Black man. I touched on some issues earlier with the depiction of Black and White women in Westworld’s dynamic, and its been one of my most popular essays, but this article is a discussion of the real world racial dynamics of Westworld, most specifically between Arnold/Bernard, and Robert Ford.
Race. Power. Westworld.
HBO’s sci-fi drama Westworld was a psychological mind f*ck of a show revolving around issues of control, power, violence and love. But there wasn’t a single moment in the show that focused on race despite the fact there are a multitude of racial politics in play. I don’t know if this is because the script was written without race in mind and the casting choices informed the racial dynamics or not. But I came away from the show a bit disappointed that the writers never chose to tackle racial motivations as the show evolved. The interaction between Arnold/Bernard and Ford is ripe with implications of power and race while the park itself seems to be no more than a #MAGA fever dream.
In this article, Zoe Kravitz, the daughter of Lenny Kravitz, and Lisa Bonet, brings the fire, about the roles available for Black women in Hollywood. The irony is that this article came from a British newspaper.
Zoë Kravitz: ‘Why do stories happen to white people and everyone else is a punchline?’
- August 20th, 2015
The actor has been stranded on the edges of blockbusters such as Mad Max: Fury Road and the Divergent series, but ahead of new film Dope she’s taking on Hollywood’s stereotypes and making a name for herself
This is a very interesting article about how Hunger Games fans ignored the descriptions of race in the books, while being racist towards the characters in the movies. Although, I am inclined to believe that a certain section of the Hunger Games fandom never read the books, saw some racism on display, and decided they wanted to jump on that lovely bandwagon. I have found there’s a subset of White people that will take any and every opportunity to bash a black person, whether they know anything about the situation, or not.
Warning: There’s some seriously nasty shit on display in this article. If you don’t feel like dealing with this level of White nonsense today, or just don’t want to get your blood pressure up, my suggestion is to skip it. Come back to it after you’ve maybe had some weed, or a good strong drink. (I recommend some Henny.)
These articles area set. They’re discussions of how social justice crusades on social media has changed the way critics do their jobs. There are certain words that have just become part of mainstream dialogue about movies, and I think we owe that to the critics and fans on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook.
The American media has no idea how to talk about race on-screen
But they’re (slowly) learning, thanks to social media campaigns that are forcing difficult conversations
Hot takes and “problematic faves”: the rise of socially conscious criticism
Modern criticism’s affinity for discussing social issues has changed pop culture, for creators and audiences alike.
For example, the term whitewashing has entered everyday language. Ten years ago, no one was saying this, or critiquing movies with this word. Hell, three years ago the mainstream media wasn’t even socially conscious enough to be able to spot it, when it happened. But thanks to “woke” fans of Pop Culture, putting it out there, along with other terms like racebending, appropriation, and erasure, it’s almost impossible for a movie starring white actors (in lieu of actors of color) to not mention any of these terms.
I do have to thank the Internet for this. If it wasn’t for people like us, arguing vociferously in the comment sections, and writing our own reviews, meta, and articles about the shows we love and hate, the mainstream media wouldn’t be aware of these things as problems.